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How to Get Over Writer’s Block

HOW TO GET OVER WRITER’S BLOCK

Getting Around Writer’s Block

I knowdog there’s debate about whether writer’ block really exists. But, whether it does or not, there will always be days when you feel like all your creative juices have gone. Somehow they leaked out your ears, formed a puddle on the floor and then were promptly slurped up by the dog. The dog ate my creativity! We can fix that.  The  following are tips to help get around writer’s block (get it – get a “round” writer’s block :)) and restore your creativity.

Just Write (About Anything)

Oh yeah. People say that all the time. Just write. Pbbbbt. I stick my tongue out at this advice. But, then I go back to my computer and remember that’s indeed a good idea. I had a great English teacher who had us do “free” journaling. She gave us10-15 minutes to write about anything. And I mean anything. Some days I just wrote “blah blah” for the whole page. Some days I wrote about very personal problems. But she didn’t mark us on content. In fact she never read any of it. Our mark was solely for filling the page. It was all about the process, just being able to get into the rhythm of writing. So give yourself the freedom to write about anything. Blah, blah, blah.

Write a Journal

Or segue journal writinginto very personal problems. If you do have a lot going on in your life, writing a journal might be a good way to kickstart your writing. It’s helpful because it allows you to transfer “worry thoughts” on to paper. Instead of having them run around in your mind, trap them in words in your journal and leave them there so you can focus on your writing. Also, just the process of writing in your journal warms you up for writing your book/story/play/poem/etc.

Ditch the Computer, Really Write

Sometimes it’s nice to change mediums. Maybe the computer is no longer being your friend. It’s just staring at you with that blank-page look on its face. Get old school. Go paper and pen. Try pencil and paper. Use ink and a calligraphy pen. Use a stone tablet and a chisel. Particularly if you’re writing anything historical, it could be fun to write how they did during that time period. (This does not mean I condone writing in blood if you’re a horror writer.)

Doodle and Draw Your Story

Even mcrayonsore glorious, and taking you back to the glory days of your creativity, I dare you to go bust out a box of crayons. Doodle. Scribble. Remember what it’s like to be a kid again – when you knew you were going to grow up to be a professional race car driver and Olympic ballerina who also worked as a scientist who invented cars that run on fart power. Draw to have fun and to get your hand and brain working together again. Or you can ramp it up a notch and try drawing a scene, character or map from your story world.

Find Your Story Somewhere Else

To get to your magical story world, sometimes you need to actually physically move. If you’re writing in the kitchen and the sink full of dishes keeps calling you – Escape!!! Find a new place to write. Ideally go to a quiet space where you can concentrate and won’t be interrupted. For some people, it mean going outside their house to work. If going to a coffee shop is too expensive for you, the library is a great quiet alternative – without coffee.

Start in the Middle, Start at the End

Sometimes end signwe get caught up in being chronological about our work. I always tell kids when they have a test, not to stay stuck on a hard question. Put a star by it and come back to it. Go through and do everything you can, skip to the easy parts and then go back to the hard parts. If you have a great idea for the middle of the story, go for it. If you know what you want for the ending, go ahead and get writing that up. That’s what I did.

Spitting Up Frogs Blog – My First Story Published!

HAPPY SPITTING  UP FROGS BLOG

 

MY FIRST Sfrog do hair darkerHORT STORY PUBLISHED
I am floppy-Muppet-hands-waving-in-the-air excited!
Inscription magazine picked up my urban fairytale Spitting Up Frogs. It’s a terrific online magazine that specializes in fantasy and science fiction for young adults. Check out the site and read Spitting Up Frogs. If you are a teacher and want free worksheets and lesson plan ideas for using Spitting Up Frogs for your short story unit, check out  Teacher Worksheets & Resources.

 

WHERE DID I GET THE IDEA FOR SPITTING UP FROGS?
That’s a good question. I was inspired by a story I read when I was a young girl. It’s called The Fairies and was written by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). It’s about two sisters who meet a fairy in disguise. One sister is kind and polite. The fairy rewards her so that every time she opens her mouth precious jewels fall out. The other sister is mean and rude to the fairy. This sister is cursed with frogs and snakes coming out of her mouth every time she talks.

 

CHARLES PERRAULT’S MESSAGE
I like the message of Perrault’s fairy tale, both then and now. If you speak kindly, it’s as if diamonds and pearls fall from your mouth. If you speak disrespectfully to others, then it’s as if ugly, slimy things fall from your mouth. Choose your words wisely.

 

stained-glass-love-hands (2)URBAN FAIRYTALE
I wrote Spitting Up Frogs thinking about what it would be like to be the cursed sister or the descendant of the cursed sister. What would life be like living with such a curse today? How could she turn something that’s seen as negative into something positive?

 

RACISM IN THE MODERN WORLD
Another tradition in fairytales, is the angry fairy godmother who curses a child because she wasn’t invited by the parents to a special family event. I used this in my story, and looked at the fairy’s ‘magic’ as her power and privilege through race. Fuyumi, the main character, is biracial and her start in life is disadvantaged because of racism in her extended family.

 

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME TO SELECTIVE MUTISM
I also wrote this story thinking about people who have difficulty speaking. I thought about kids who are new to a country and don’t know the local language. Children can have speech-related conditions like stuttering, Tourette’s syndrome, extreme anxiety and selective mutism. They face challenges constantly, and they are brave and persistent in their daily life.

 

page-border-kidsCHILDREN AND CHALLENGES
Life can be tough, and my wish for kids is that they can have faith in themselves. Just because society has labeled something as negative, doesn’t mean it has to be. Yes, it’s unfair and some days will be really hard. Some kids do have extra challenges they have to face, but they have the strength to face them (even though there will be days they feel they don’t). My hope in writing this story is that kids can have a positive story to reflect on and feel inspired by the main character Fuyumi.

 

EMPATHY MAKES A BETTER WORLD
My other hope is that kids can see how they can make a difference by helping others. In this story, Harvinder shows genuine interest and kindness towards Fuyumi and her frogs. He walked towards her when everyone walked away. He is an everyday hero through his constant support of a friend. If instead of running from differences, we embraced them, what a lovelier world we could live in.